Federal and State Congressional Leaders Meet at Zingerman’s Deli


(L-R) MI Rep. Irwin, US Rep. Dingell, MI Rep. Zemke, Sandy Bledsoe, Grand Rapids Comptroller Vander Werff, Pete Garner

U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, State Rep. Adam Zemke, D-Ann Arbor, and State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor met with Zingerman’s Deli staff and Ann Arbor business owners at the Deli yesterday afternoon to discuss proposed increases in the state and federal minimum wage.


MI Rep. Irwin provides some levity.

The Congressional Representatives chose to meet at Zingerman’s following a recent trip by Paul Saginaw to Washington D.C., where he, along with other national business leaders, met with U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez.


Carole Woods of Zingerman’s Deli makes a point.

Dingell praised Paul’s trip to Washington, saying, “It says that there’s conviction there, which is sufficient to cause a very substantial expenditure to inform the Congress of what Zingerman’s and what Mr. Saginaw, who made the trip, thinks is the need of the country.”


More discussion.

Dingell is a co-sponsor for bill H.R. 1010, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which would increase the federal minimum from $7.25 to $10.10. Irwin and Zemke are co-sponsors for Michigan House Bill 4386, which would increase the state minimum wage from $7.40 to $9 in 2014.


Further discussion.

During the meeting (known as the #SandwichSummit on Twitter), the Representatives listened as Deli staff shared their experiences, and talked about the implications and benefits of raising the minimum wage.


Grand Rapids Comptroller Vander Werff makes a point.

Also present to express their support for the proposed legislation were local businesspeople Sandy Bledsoe, owner of The Espresso Bar in Braun Court, and Eve Aronoff, owner and chef at Frita Batidos on W. Washington St. downtown, as well as Comptroller for the City of Grand Rapids, Sara Vander Werff.


US Rep. John Dingell along with Deli staff Nancy Rucker, Miriam Flagler, and Levi Clark.

“It is but equity…that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labor as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged.” – Adam Smith,  The Wealth of Nations

A big thanks to everyone who participated!